Having won just four of their past ten games heading into the NHL All-Star break, the Toronto Maple Leafs made the first huge move leading up to the trade deadline. While rapidly losing ground on the first-place Tampa Bay Lightning, and also just one point ahead of the Montreal Canadiens, the time was now for Toronto to flex their financial muscle and prove winning in the present is far more important than future assets.
Given their addition of John Tavares this offseason, Toronto owed their fans some action. With a relative weakness at the blue line, the Leafs made a big splash, adding LA Kings star Jake Muzzin.
.@SportChek Player Alert: The @MapleLeafs have acquired defenceman Jake Muzzin from Los Angeles in exchange for forward Carl Grundstrom, the rights to Sean Durzi and Toronto’s first-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft.#LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/3DYt3w0dc1— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) January 29, 2019
The price tag--Carl
“The key is his ability to play at the top end of our defence,” Dubas said. “Play in all situations. Play against the other team’s top players. He’s proven himself over a good career now to be able to move the puck, to excel at playing against high-quality competition and be able to contribute offensively but defensively (too). Just thought it was a great fit for us.”
By adding Jake Muzzin, this Leafs blueline certainly now more resembles Dubas hockey: skate quick, carry the puck, move it up the ice fast and maintain possession, writes @mirtle:https://t.co/WvfPRpkhbN— The Athletic (@TheAthleticTO) January 29, 2019
Thank you for everything, Jake Muzzin ❤️ pic.twitter.com/mrxzoTsIhm— LA Kings (@LAKings) January 29, 2019